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Quitting

Talk to a public health nurse for help quitting by calling our Health Connection line at 705-721-7520 or toll free at 1-877-721-7520. Every attempt brings you closer to quitting for good!

Quitting smoking is the single best thing you can do to protect your health and prevent long-term health issues like cancers, heart attacks, strokes, COPD and other diseases caused, or made worse by, smoking and commercial tobacco use.

Benefits of quitting

  • If you stop smoking before the onset of irreversible heart and circulatory disease, your body will begin to repair itself. Repair begins almost immediately.
  • The risk of tooth loss decreases after quitting smoking.
  • 20 MINUTES of quitting - blood pressure, pulse, and the temperature in your hands and feet all return to normal.
  • 8 HOURS - the carbon monoxide and oxygen levels in your blood return to normal and smoker's breath disappears.
  • 24 HOURS - carbon monoxide will be eliminated from your body; lungs begin to clear out mucus and smoking debris.
  • 72 HOURS - lung capacity will have increased and you'll find it's easier to breathe.
  • 3-9 MONTHS - lung function is increased up to 10%, coughing and wheezing problems will improve, sinus congestion will be alleviated.
  • 1 YEAR - your risk of heart disease is about one-half that of a smoker.
  • 10 YEARS - risk of lung cancer falls to half that of a smoker.
  • 15 YEARS - your risk of heart disease is the same as that of a person who never smoked.

If you currently smoke or vape and are concerned about how these might be associated with COVID-19, read our Q & A.

When you are ready to quit smoking, free supports are available, including nicotine replacement therapies like patches and gum, counselling, and self-help materials.

Community supports and no cost nicotine replacement therapy

Barrie    Collingwood     Muskoka     North Simcoe     Orillia     South Simcoe

Nicotine replacement products help control cravings

There are now many tested and safe nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) on the market to help you quit smoking. NRT can double your chances of quitting for good. You don't need a prescription since it is available over the counter. If you work, your employer's health plan may offer coverage. Types of NRT include patches, gum, lozenges, mouth spray, and inhalers. There are also prescription medications that you can talk to your health care provider about. These may be covered by workplace drug benefit plans, OHIP+, or Ontario Drug Benefit, among others.

Nicotine replacement products and how to use them

Patch

Gum

Lozenge

Inhaler

Spray

 
Quit incentives and challenges can help you when you are ready to quit. Some are geared to young adults.

Quit success stories can provide you with motivation and support.

External links

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If you have any questions or concerns that require a response, please contact Health Connection directly.

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